From heavyweights to flyweights here’s a view of what’s coming down the pipe like a Justin Verlander fastball. Everything that’s heading for fight fans in the month of January including a world championship showdown between welterweights not named Manny Pacquiao.
Rashad Evans (18-1-1) faces Brazil’s Thiago Silva (14-1) in a light heavyweight mixed martial arts battle at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday Jan. 2. Evans, a former world champion, is attempting to get back into the title picture. The Ultimate Fighting Championship 108 fight card will be televised on pay-per-view. Tickets are still available for the MMA event.
Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola’s name seems to be very popular. A number of heavyweight fights have been proposed for the Riverside boxer including possible bouts with Tomasz Adamek, James Toney and David Tua. All are being proposed to Arreola’s promoter Goossen-Tutor Promotions by HBO. I guess they want to get the knockout puncher back in the ring and in front of a television viewing audience as soon as possible. A bout against Toney looks kind of dangerous for Arreola but a bout against Tua looks easier on paper. We’ll see. Speaking of Toney, when Vitali Klitschko fought Kevin Johnson who has a similar style to Lights Out, all I could think of is Toney would give Klitschko a lot more trouble. Toney definitely would have thrown more punches than Johnson. Just food for thought.
Former junior middleweight world champion Roman Karmazin (39-3-1, 25 KOs) headlines a fight card in Glendale, California on Jan. 8. The Russian prizefighter will face Dionisio Miranda (20-4-2, 18 KOs) in a junior middleweight bout. Also on the impressive Art of Boxing Promotions fight card will be several contenders including Art Hovhannesyan. Also on the card is the return of Shibata Flores. Man, that guy hasn’t fought in years. There’s also a Russian heavyweight Andrey Fedosov who looks pretty good For tickets and information call (626) 388-8888.
Anthony “Baby Assassin” Villarreal (9-2, 4 KOs) signed to defend his WBC Youth flyweight title against undefeated Milan Melindo (19-0) in Cebu City in the Philippines on Jan. 14. Villarreal is from Perris and has a five fight win streak. It’s his second fight outside of the country. He’s trained by Al Franco in the Riverside area.
Believe it or not Evander “Real Deal” Holyfield (42-10-2, 27 KOs) returns to the ring to fight Francois “White Buffalo” Botha (47-4-3, 28 KOs) on Jan. 16 in Uganda for the WBF heavyweight world title. Both Holyfield, 47, and Botha, 41, have both held world titles but never fought each other before. Holyfield always said he wanted to win one more heavyweight world title. The Georgia-based fighter has lost his past two fights against Nicolai Valuev and Sultan Ibragimov. Botha fought three times in 2009 and fought to a draw against Pedro Carrion in Germany while winning his other two bouts.
Pomona’s Shane Mosley (46-5, 39 KOs) is preparing in Big Bear Lake for his upcoming WBA title defense against WBC titleholder Andre Berto (25-0, 19 KOs). The welterweight showdown takes place on Saturday Jan. 30, at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. Also on the card will be undefeated lightweight Carlos Molina who is managed by Frank Espinoza.
Who will win the Sergey Kovalev vs Andre Ward fight?